Hillsboro – Arpa Ewert, 98, died December 4, 2018 at Parkside Homes in Hillsboro. She was born August 23, 1920 in Hillsboro to Jacob and Minnie (Goertz) Ewert. Survived by many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by: brothers, William Ewert, Ben Ewert, Earl Ewert, Albert Ewert; sisters, Anna Brandt, Edna Plenert, Marie Plett, Dora Bartel. Celebration of Life Service 10:30 a.m. Saturday, December 8, 2018 at Trinity Mennonite Church in Hillsboro. Interment at Johannestal cemetery rural Hillsboro. Family will receive friends from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Friday at Jost Funeral Home in Hillsboro. Memorials to Trinity Mennonite Church in care of Jost Funeral Home P.O. Box 266 Hillsboro, KS 67063. Online condolences at www.jostfuneralhome.com
Life Sketch Taken From the Funeral Bulletin
Arpa was born to Jacob and Minnie Goertz Ewert on August 23, 1920, at Hillsboro, Kansas. She was the 8th of 9 children. Growing up she learned the values of hard work and care for one another. She “caught” the love for fishing from her mother…the nearby creek was a favorite place on the farm.
Arpa and her younger brother Albert farmed the home place 5 miles north of Hillsboro and cared for their parents in their declining years. During these early years Arpa and Albert served for many years as youth sponsors at Johannestal Mennonite Church, and Arpa taught Children’s Sunday School.
With the death of their mother in early 1967 and the untimely death of her brother, Albert, two weeks later, Arpa’s world was turned upside down. At age 47, life presented her with new challenges which she faced with a tenacious forward looking spirit. She bought a small house in Hillsboro and, for the first time in her adult life, she found a job at the local Ben Franklin Five and Dime Store where she worked for nearly 30 years and was affectionately known as “the candy lady.”
In retirement she began a new career as an office janitor for her niece, Joyce Barkman at the Barkman Honey Company. She endeared herself to the employees with her work ethic and her cream puffs. At age 90 she retired from the Barkman Honey Company.
Arpa was baptized on September 8, 1935 at Johannestal Mennonite Church. She later became a member at Trinity Mennonite Church. Her love and devotion to the Lord was lived out in her faithful commitment to the life of the church.
Arpa’s life was guided by a simple mission: to care for and love her family. While still on the farm, she shared her love by being the hostess for many large extended family gatherings at holidays, birthdays, and Sunday lunches. When her brother Earl’s wife died leaving him with 4 children, she became a second mother to Morris, Harris, Tyler and Roxann. The mutual love they experienced for each other has transcended generations to include grandnieces Traci, Tiffani, Deidra, Andrea and their children. As Arpa’s older brothers and sisters became aged and struggled with their own limitations, she was always there with an encouraging smile and a helping hand. She exemplified the treasure of a deep and simple faith that provided meaning and purpose amongst the complexities of life. She offered the gifts of listening and companionship by spending time together whether baking pies or cream puffs or preparing for a party.
Arpa enjoyed many hobbies including fishing, travel, bead-work and putting together puzzles. All her life she would rather go fishing than do anything else whether with friends, family or alone. She could scale and fillet a fish with the best of them. Oddly enough she did not enjoy eating fish very much unless she could fry some up for her family. Arpa and one or more of her 3 older sisters would often travel together to visit family or go on mystery tours.
She is legendary for her making of original intricate bead Christmas ornaments. For over 50 years, she made thousands of ornaments; many of them have found their way onto the Christmas trees of her siblings and those of her nieces and nephews and their children. Even in the final weeks of her life she was helping make ornaments for a small tree in her room at Parkside Homes. Arpa was an expert at putting together puzzles of all sizes. The more complex puzzles were often framed and hung in her home for a period of time.
She is survived by 20 of her 28 nieces and nephews, all of whom experienced her love and adored her as well. Her brother Earl’s family included her and treated her as “one of their own” since the death of their mother in 1968. Celebrating her life are Morris and Linda Ewert, Goessel; Harris and Debbie Ewert, Hillsboro; Tyler and Diane Ewert, Wichita; and Roxann Ewert, Hillsboro; as well as other nieces and nephews: Raymond Brandt, Orletta Wiebe, Pearl McConnell, Joyce Barkman, John Brandt, Hazel Hein, Orley Plenert, Verna Treadway, Dwight Plenert, Janice Goertz, Vera Condick, Tom Plett, Marvin Bartel, Dean Preheim-Bartel, Carol Bartel, and Delores Spencer.
Arpa was preceded in death by her parents, Jacob and Minnie Goertz Ewert; four sisters: Anna Brandt, Edna Plenert, Marie Plett, and Dora Bartel; and four brothers: William, Ben, Earl and Albert; and eight nieces and nephews, Floyd Bartel, Alfred Bartel, Eldon Brandt, Darlene Haney, Charles Plenert, Willard Plenert, Howard Plenert, and Lois Newlove.